2018 has come to a close, ending a big year for Kilsyth Basketball at the domestic, state, national and international levels.
Underpinning a wealth of success in 2018 was our Junior and Senior Domestic competitions, which boasted a total of 1152 teams competing on a weekly basis.With just under 400 Senior Domestic teams – including our growing Wheelchair Competition – and over 750 Junior Domestic, Miniball and After School Competition teams, Kilsyth Basketball has built a tremendous foundation for individual and team success at the next level, with the strength of our Domestic competitions aiding in the development of some outstanding individuals.
While there were individual accolades aplenty, Kilsyth Basketball as whole enjoyed a highlight-filled year, headlined by significant funding announcements and the development of new facilities. The re-elected Labor Government announced $11 million in funding for Pinks Reserve, which will give the Kilsyth Sports Centre a new regulation sized court and upgrades to current change room and bathroom facilities. In November, the Labor Government broke ground on Melba College’s $15 million Stage 2 project, which will provide Kilsyth Basketball with a beautiful four-court facility set to open in early 2020.
On the court, Kilsyth played host to the Under 14 Boys Australian Club Championships, showcasing the best Under 14 talent in the country while seeing our Cobra Under 14 Boys end with a 12th place finish in the nation. While one of Australia’s most prestigious leagues – the SEABL – saw its final season of competition played in 2018, Kilsyth was named as a foundation team for the newly formed Victorian Senior Elite League (official name TBA), which will debut in 2019. The new league will see the Cobras reunited with longtime rivals, the Knox Raiders, while continuing to compete with the majority of its SEABL foes, ushering a new era of elite senior basketball in south-east Australia.
Kilsyth was also honoured by Basketball Victoria for its media coverage in 2017-18, taking home the Basketball Victoria Media Coverage of the Year award.
Kilsyth’s representative teams – the Cobras – achieved tremendous success at both the junior and senior levels in 2018. All ten of the Junior Cobras ‘first’ teams earned a place in the MUVJBL’s top competition – Victorian Championship (VC) – which features the states 20 best teams in each age group. Seven junior Cobra teams have already graded for VC in 2019, despite the grading process still months from completion.
While our U14 Boys made the most of a Club Championships invitation to earn a 12th place finish, they weren’t the only Cobra team making noise in 2018. Our Under 12/1 Boys and Under 18/1 Boys and Girls all secured berths in the National Junior Classic, a mid-year tournament featuring 16 of the top club teams in the nation. Both the U12 and U18 Boys finished the tournament as silver medalists, earning a second placed finish in Australia.
At the senior level, our VYC Men returned to the playoffs yet again, while our VYC Women secured their first postseason berth in five years. In their final SEABL season, the Cobra Men and Women went out with a bang, both advancing to the final four before bowing out of postseason play in preliminary finals, while the Cobra Wheelchair Men continued their impressive run of success since moving to Kilsyth as they secured yet another playoff berth.
Rounding out 2018 were some incredible on and off-court achievements from our players, coaches, officials and volunteers:
Georgia Booth (SEBC Saints/Cobras): Named to the U16 Victorian Metro team, helping lead the Vic’s to Gold at the U16 National Championships in July. Fellow Saint Mariah Derksen was named as an emergency to the Vic Metro team.
Riley Spicer (Maroondah Magic/Cobras): Named to the Victorian team which finished second at the School Sport Australia Basketball Championships in Darwin
Kate Leckenby and Dani Phillips: Led Victoria to Gold at the U20 National Championships as members of the Ivor Burge Women’s team
Senior Players (SEABL/VYC/NWBL/WNWBL Cobras):
Kyle Adnam (Mt Evelyn Meteors): 2018 saw Kyle win an NBL championship with Melbourne United, play in his second NBA game (Sydney Kings vs Los Angeles Clippers), and cap his year by being named in the Australian Boomers squad.
Jorden Adnam (Mt Evelyn Meteors) and Mitch Dielemans (Fosters Phantoms): Jordy and Mitch continued to dominate the Big-V’s VYC, with Jordy backing up his 2017 Finals MVP with the league MVP in 2018, while Mitch finished as the league’s leading scorer and joined Jordy as a member of the All-VYC Team.
Steph Blicavs: Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist as a member of the Australian Opals
Sean MacDonald: Won Gold alongside Josh Kunen at the FIBA U18 Asia Cup and with the Vic Metro Men at the U20 National Championships
Leanne Del Toso and Bree Mellberg: The pair were named to the Australian Women’s Wheelchair team (Australian Gliders), while Leanne was also named the WNWBL 3.0 Category MVP
Tristan Knowles: Named to the Australian Men’s Wheelchair team (Australian Rollers) and earned a place on the NWBL All-Star 5
Jontee Brown and Brian Carminati: Won Bronze at the Under 23 World Championships as members of the Australian Men’s Wheelchair team (Australian Spinners)
Teisha Shadwell: Basketball Victoria Charles Ryan Wheelchair Player of the Year
Jackie Lee (SEBC Saints): Basketball Victoria Domestic Coach of the Year
Shane Furness and Craig Campbell: Shane and Craig were named as assistant coaches of the Australian Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair teams, respectively, while Shane was also an assistant coach for the U23 Men’s team (World Championship Bronze Medalists)
Justin Schueller: Assistant coach for NBL champions, Melbourne United, and head coach of U17 Australian Men’s team (Australian Crocs)
Mal Allison (ESD Chairman): Basketball Victoria Allan Ashe Memorial Award for 40 years of service in basketball
Peter Withers (former junior coach): Basketball Victoria 25 years of service in basketball
The NBL1 Cobra Men have fallen to Diamond Valley in heartbreaking fashion, losing 90-98 to the Eagles on Retro Night. For the second consecutive week, the Cobras found themselves on the wrong end of a big crunch time surge, surrendering a 15-2 run to the Eagles over the final five minutes of the game.
via Roy Ward, NBL1.com.au Kilsyth Cobras coach Sam Woosnam needed to make adjustments more than her players did. 📺: @KilsythCobras 🆚 @DVBasketball Womens Highlights #NBL1 pic.twitter.com/VOSztiOMX1 — NBL1 (@NBL1HQ) May 18, 2019 Just weeks before the NBL1 season, the team received happy news that WNBL guard Steph Blicavs was pregnant and wouldn’t be playing.
The NWBL Cobras have opened their 2019 regular season campaign with a 2-2 split during their four game weekend in Brisbane. Despite heading up north shorthanded to start the season, the Cobras were able to record a pair of impressive wins over the Red Dust Heelers and West Adelaide Thunder. Without veteran Sean